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Poses [Bonus Track] Extra tracks, Original recording reissued

4.4 out of 5 stars 187 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

POSES

Amazon.com

The scrutiny of success that came early on--being named Best New Artist by Rolling Stone in 1998, the year of his debut album, for example--would have smothered many another emerging talent. But it failed to stopper the singular, unclassifiable, ranging gift of singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright. His sophomore album, Poses, advances beyond the earlier, cabaret-inspired effort with a suite of songs marvelously varied in arrangement and texture but linked by Wainwright's characteristic theatrical panache. "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk" catalogs excess with playful self-censure, but Wainwright's whimsical ironies often take a bruising, poignant turn, whether in the pseudo-upbeat "California" or, most movingly, on the title track. The dying fall of Wainwright's lusher melodies--echoes of "Across the Universe" as well as ultrachic Beatles tunes such as "Michelle"--meshes remarkably with the poetic substance here as he explores a landscape of wistful self-knowledge caught between longing and decadence. Yet even through all the layers of picturesque, postmod observation, Wainwright conveys a sense-filtered experience that gives urgency to his hauntingly mumbled opacities. With Poses, the young artist proves his authenticity. --Thomas May
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 12, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording reissued
  • Label: Geffen
  • Run Time: 21 minutes
  • ASIN: B00005Y7AW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (187 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,768 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I remember hearing much buzz around Rufus upon the release of his self-titled first album. Ever mindful that there is also much buzz around swarms of killer bees and felonious haircuts, I stayed away. Hearing Rufus himself would have to wait until I stumbled upon "Complainte de la Butte" off the "Moulin Rouge!" soundtrack... not his song, but a distinct improvement over any interpretation I had heard previously. "Hosanna in the highest," thought I, "the buzzards actually got something right!"

What to do? As I wallowed in willful blindness, this guy cut three (four if one adds the unreleased "Want Two" to the tally) albums, and I soon realized I was not in Kansas anymore. Since I lack the requisite footwear to click my heels three times and hope for the best, I bought all three albums and hoped for the best. "Poses" was first in queue. I wish I could ascribe musicologically cosmic motives to my choice. Alas and alack, I applied the far more banal "what's the first song called?" test. Then, as now, "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk" seemed to me a more appealing prospect than "Foolish Love," if for no other reason than that I enjoy the former and have seen my share of the latter.

Fortunately, "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk" happens to be a strikingly original and genially self-effacing paean to overindulgence. This theme is captured both in the lyrics and the music, which deviates from "spare" in virtually every respect. Rufus keeps this "singing shall set me free" lens focused squarely on himself throughout the album, including a brilliant exercise in double-entendre by covering his father's "One Man Guy.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"Poses" continues Rufus Wainwright's brilliant and insightful journey of self discovery that he began in his compelling debut CD. While, on the first CD, he saw the world through an aching, burning romantic haze with an almost unbearable intensity, "Poses" mutes that intensity just like adulthood tones down youthful passions and replaces them with realistic insight as to how the world truly functions.
"Cigarettes and Choclate Milk" is the perfect song with which to frame this journey. It is precisely the "cravings" mentioned in the song that lead him to the heartbreak and emptiness that he so poignantly expresses in the remainder of the tunes on the CD. "I suggest reading of a 'lesson in tightropes' or 'Adios Kansas', he cries, as the world he has seen on his journey is not what he expected or wanted.
The song "Poses" beautifully articulates the emptiness he feels in the world in which he has found himself. "I did go from wanting to be someone...now I'm drunk and wearing flip flops on Fifth Avenue..." In "Shadows" he laments, "I could be a great star..I'm far from happy."
Although his romantic spirit has been dampened by the harshness of the world, he has not lost it entirely. Deep down inside he knows that love is the "copious prize". "The sights of Paris pale inside your iris..I saw it in your eyes what I'm looking for..," he croons in "The Tower of Learning"- sentiments as unabashedly romantic as any lyrics on his debut CD.
"One man Guy" serves a double purpose.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I had never heard of Rufus Wainwright before I saw him singing
with Sean Lennon in the John Lennon tribute concert on TV
(fall of 2001). I was impressed by the strength of his voice,
and that he was singing with Sean Lennon seemed like a strong
endorsement to me. So I went on line and read the reviews of
his disks and picked this one up based on the the rave reviews.
I am not disappointed.
I mean, wow.
There is incredible talent here. The songwriting is beautiful
and as well crafted as anything Ben Folds, Elvis Costello, Michael
Penn or Aimee Mann (just to name a few of the songwriters I like and
who might be crafty in a vaguely similar way that Wainwright
is). And the arrangements are simply astounding. Is
Wainrwright entirely responsible for everything on this album,
or do Alex Gifford, Ethan Johns and Damian Legassick deserve
a share of the credit? I don't know, but the whole thing works.
It's deep. It lush. It's grand. It pops. It rolls. It sticks
in your head. Great great stuff, this.
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Format: Audio CD
This second album by Rufus Wainwright is a stunning achievement and sublime follow-up to this musical genius's first release, though I grudgingly welcome listening to any song after the peerless track from his first CD, FOOLISH LOVE. How can you improve on such sheer beauty and perfection? And yet Wainwright does just that with his song POSES, the title track, and the brilliant confessional in CIGARETTES AND CHOCOLATE MILK: "Please be kind if I'm a mess." At present writing, POSES, an '01 release, is currently sold out in Los Angeles at Tower and Amoeba. Go there and just mention it to the salespeople at either store and witness their uncanny enthusiasm, their singular joy at the talent of Rufus Wainwright. I'm bowled over completely by both his CDs --- I've never heard such original material, singing, phrasing and musicianship in many years. In POSES, substance prevails over image despite the surprising lyric, "There's never been such a grave a matter as comparing our new brand name black sunglasses all these poses such beautiful poses makes any boy feel as pretty as princes..." How could this not stir the envy of Morrissey, Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd-Weber and Johnny-Come-Lately, John Mayer? What a mind, what a talent, what a gift -- POSES -- and the icing on the cake? Rufus' cover of John Lennon's masterpiece, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. Sir Elton --- you should be phoning up Rufus Wainwright in my humble opinion.
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